Category: Legal Billing Tips

18 Oct

Easy Ways to Track Non-billing Expenses

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Easy Ways to Track Non-billing Expenses

Law Firm Billing Software provides easy ways to track non-billing expenses. The legal system has many areas, Immigration, Bankruptcy, personal injury, labor law, Criminal law, family and health law and the list goes on. Each time an attorney sits down with a client, researches a case or handles a court appearance; this cost the attorney time and everyone wants to be paid for his or her time.

Benefits:

• Clarity
• Accuracy
• Timely billing
• Less paperwork
• In house accounting

Legal Costs:

It is important to avoid the chance of ruffling a client’s feathers with charges he or she feels are unfair. The best way to manage any questionable charge is to maintain accurate records. Date pages accurately, and place why, when and what for in plain billing language. When a client uses legal services, costs add up. Telephone services are needed; documents require copying, even lunch may become a part of the expenditure. It is important to lists these charges before they are overlooked or forgotten entirely.

Poor Bookkeeping Loses Money:
Failure to charge for services dilutes the efforts of the firm. Investigative services are not unusual in legal cases, servers are necessary, and travel expenses add up, reaching beyond the cost of actually sitting down with the client. These costs take away from profits unless charged to the client. The listing of cost for an attorney falls under a different arrangement. The spending of money by an attorney for a client is a loan. However, this money rates as positive income, although it seems to be flowing away from the company’s bank account. The expectation is the monies will be repaid, therefore, considered an asset.

While struggling with retainer fees, referral, flat rate or consultation fees, getting everything down in the correct order is a little distracting when winning a case for a client is the goal. Nevertheless, without money in the bank, the attorney cannot handle any case effectively when he or she is worried about the rent. Law Firm Billing Software improves the chance of better earnings.

Separating Charges:

The New York City law Department uses Legal billing software as an easy way to track non-billing expenses while maintaining a clear record of billable expenses. Washburn University trains students to use legal firm billing software to manage a variety of billing and non-billing requirements.

Updates:

Legal Billing software updates billing tracking each added expense. Phone calls, copy cost, and legal research fees are a legitimate cost but out of the average consideration for normal billing. List Attorney Fees with Simplicity. A Software improves the efficiency of financial data. Stopping to log information is easier, while the workflow is uninterrupted. Law firms capture more of their funds and lose less time from billable legal services when using Law Firm Billing Software.

Security:

Legal software is a secure way to manage non-billing while creating a quick way to track time and money. Each lawyer has access if the firm chooses to give it and can log time and any loans given during the course of the day. Legal organizations might have problems if funds flowing into the company are missed through poor billing practices. Billing is done when the expense is created with the detailed information listed, making tracking cost easier on everyone. Improper billing can affect the amount of taxes paid causing loss of income or legal difficulties.

Hiring an Accountant:

If a financial service is hired later, this also distracts from the bottom line. If an attorney is operating a one-person firm, tracking non-billing costs is crucial and more demanding without legal software. The ability of the firm to grow might hinge on tracking cost and time. A new firm can ill afford waste.

Tracking cost eliminates wasted effort while preventing clients from taking advantage of the attorney’s time. Solicitors can concentrate on doing the best job possible for clients and they are able to show clients any charges related to their case if obligated to do so. The objective of every business is to earn money. Tracking non-billing cost is one way to help that process along.

13 Oct

What You Should Be Billing For as a Lawyer

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What To Bill And Log For Your Client Billing

Logging legal meetings may not be such a big task if your law firm has a few clients but if your clients are in their hundreds, then it will be a big task to log clients’ meetings accurately. Your best bet is to adopt the use of legal billing software from a legal services corporation. The software does not only handle logging of client meetings, it also handles billing perfectly.

Billing your clients

Proper billing is important in running any law firm. A detailed and easy to understand will help with cash flow as clients will pay faster if they understand their bills. This may even mean that you can avoid having to take out loans to cover working capital needs of your firm.
Every client knows he or she has to pay for legal services. Most times when clients complain about legal billing, it is not because it is too high but the manner in which it was presented to them. So, you need to be careful when billing your clients. It may put them off. One funny thing about clients is that they won’t tell you when they have made up their mind to get another lawyer. You will simply not see them again.

What to avoid when billing your clients

Try not to issue bills in bits. Let clients know their bill from the beginning. Put all likely contingencies into consideration so that you won’t be forced to ask for more money halfway. A lot of clients see this idea as a rip off. They see it as an additional hidden fee. This is why it is important to adopt the use of legal billing software to help you break down your charges in smaller components that are easy for your clients to understand.

Important tips on how to bill clients

Some important tips on how to handle legal billing have been listed below

• Deploy legal billing software

• Don’t charge for every little task

• Avoid irksome and vague terms

• For accuracy, record time spent on a daily basis and detail out time spent by your attorney and paralegal

• Make your communication very clear

Deploy legal billing software

Apart from the accuracy of law firm billing software, another reason to adopt this technique is because it boosts your credibility. Clients trust figures generated directly from law firm billing software much more than the one you calculated by yourself. Use of billing software is highly encouraged by Florida State University Law Practice.

Generally, there is a paradigm shift towards general digitization of several business activities. Legal business should not lag behind. Digitization comes with speed, accuracy and convenience. So, in a matter of years there will only be two categories of law firms – those that have adopted the use of software and those that are running out of business.

Don’t charge for every little task

One of the advices of School of Law Online Resources is that attorneys do not have to charge for a simple task of correcting the error in a document or updating a document. This is because a lot of clients do not feel they should be charged for that. They are right in their thought. As an attorney, you may not deliver on your main responsibility without updating or correcting certain documents.

You should think of reference and more business from the same client. So, if you make a client pay for every little task, you may succeed but any client who isn’t happy to pay for some “inconsequential” tasks will never come back for another business or refer anybody to you.

Avoid irksome and vague terms

When breaking down your bill to clients it is very important that you use very simple terms that the client can understand easily. Your clients will be happy to pay for what they understand. When you use too much legal jargons in terms of billing, it is seen as a deliberate effort to bamboozle clients.

According to the policy of some big corporate clients, they do not pay for certain legal services. So it is better to use another term. A very good example is the term “rework”. It is against the policy of many companies to pay for reworking of any old document. So, you need to avoid such words in your bill. Even if you spend so much time reworking a certain document, you should use another term in your bill.

Record time spent with a client on a daily basis

It is better to log the time spent with a client on a daily basis. It makes billing much easier that way. If you wait until the end of the legal service to log all the meetings, you will likely make several mistakes. So, for accuracy, log client’s meetings on a daily basis when it is still fresh in your memory.

Make your communication clear

If you think there is anything on the bill that the client might question, it is better to call him or her to explain it before sending an invoice. For instance, including the service rendered by an attorney that didn’t get to meet with the client in your bill will cause issues without prior explanation. It is better to call ahead and explain exactly what the “strange” attorney did to deserve being paid. This explanation should be very clear.

7 Oct

4 Legal Billing Tips for Family Lawyers

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Billing: It’s all About Staying in the Green Zone

Any law firm can tell you that when the time comes to settle payments, that is when friction happens with clients. This could be for a number of reasons, but the most common one is that the client was expecting a lower payment for services rendered by the firm. The following are:

four legal billing tips to help family lawyers to stay in the green zone.

1. If there is something that the law firm was not going to charge for, then show it on the bill. It could be put under as “no charge”. Everyone likes to see that they got something for free. A no charge example could be something like organizing the case file. Another thing to keep in mind is to not drop any surprises on the client. Always keep the client posted and give them a fair advanced warning on future expenses. Also, it is always better to send out bills as soon as possible. If it is sent several months afterward, then it could end being a minor shock for the client. Some law firms like to give the client a call before the bill is sent out. This gives the whole transaction a personal touch, which always goes down better with clients.
2. The fact of the matter is that a lot of law firms lose money because of poor collection and billing practices. Depending on the situation this lost amount can be substantial. One prominent reason for this is because of out dated law firm billing software or not using a legal billing software. Both are equally bad. If the firm cannot keep up with this sort of IT related tasks, then it may be well worth hiring someone who can handle legal billing software. Sometimes even a paralegal can be trained to be a virtual assistant.
3. As far as legal billing software is concerned there are two basic options when it comes to the IT side of things. The first is to have an in-house server where the legal billing software will be kept so that everyone can access it. The second option is to use cloud service. Both have their pros and cons. However, from a security standpoint cloud based service is a better option. The great thing about cloud based service is that all you need to do is pay a monthly fee and the cloud company will take care of the rest. All you need to do is never forget the password and you are good to go.
Of course, all of this will require some research to find the best legal billing software that fits your business needs. There is software built specifically to be legal-centric. Apart from billing and time keeping they will also include options such as ABA and trust accounting billing codes. Having all of the extra billing related bells and whistles can not only make life a lot easier for the finance department, but it will also be a lot more accurate. In fact, some types of law firm billing software will give the client the option to pay bills on line. The simple truth is that when online billing and payment options are available, payments happen as much as 40% faster! This is because of the overall change in peoples purchasing habits. We as a society have come to expect to go online and get what we want, and be done with it and move on with our lives. Therefore, it is not surprising that this trend has seeped into the legal world.
4. All of this is to accomplish one basic thing and that is to make billing go smoothly between the firm and the clients. No law firm wants to get into the red zone with customers on billing issues. This could start off with something small and grow big in no time. It is how malpractice actions can go from being just a concept to reality.

Why do we Need LSC?

LSC stands for Legal services corporation and it was set up by the US Congress to ensure everyone has the chance to get legal help. It is a fund to help those who need civil legal assistance, who otherwise may not be able to afford it. It was conceived in 1974 with bipartisan congressional support. LSC is run by a board of 11 directors who are appointed by the President of the US. Over the years it went through several budget cuts, but the LSC has managed to soldier on. As of 2015, the LSC had a budget of $375 million.
6 Oct

Tips to Track Your Legal Billing Hours

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Tips to Track Your Legal Billing Hours

 

Some could consider using billing management tools to accurately record and organize billing hours, especially busy professionals like lawyers or accountants, whose salaries are based upon per project or per client hourly rates.

 

The use of digital technology

 

You could track these without complicated software, right? A more effective and error-free way to calculate and track legal billing hours should include the use of a legal billing app. Many of which are free, or offer free trial versions. It turns out that they aren’t all that complicated either.

 

The ability to handle office billing processes

 

Few tasks are more crucial to the proper functioning of a law firm, then recording time. Tracking and entering values can be a tedious process to many, aggravating to most. For legal billing, bill-per-hour is the common way for a lawyer to charge.

 

Employ the services of timekeeping apps

 

Certain apps, like iTimeKeep, is commonly used by lawyers. There are two different options for use, free time for recording or integration with current law firm billing software or management software. The app allows for lawyer-friendly options like the ability to record time whilst on the go, or return to the office and enter data manually. Whether recording time, completing tasks or voice-activating a stopwatch, this can be an entertaining app to use while balancing the budget.

 

Apps offer the most efficient way to track legal hours

 

The organization system used by Time Master + Billing allows users to perform a variety of timekeeping functions, another extremely popular app frequented by lawyers. This is a time tracker deluxe. Engineered with the capacity to run and maintain multiple timers, the possibility of making accidental duplicate entries is reduced. This is a phenomenal example of law firm billing software, all wrapped up in an app. Time Master + Billing has the ability to sort and categorize clients efficiently, neatly compiled and presented by task and project. Complete with wonderful search engine precision providing sub categories as well. Juggling the ability to sort clients by unique parameters, the user also has the power to apply multiple billing rates, especially useful if you need to bill the same client more than one rate. This app enables you to do just that.

 

A different type of legal billing app

 

When tracking legal billing hours efficiently or filing paperwork for your latest perjury case, the services of an app like Bill4Time could help you sort your material, allowing you to search for desired information rapidly. Bill4Time is a total legal billing software and invoicing system – a comprehensive and complete small business timekeeping system. The mobile app released from the company carries several usable features, from the ability to track everything (including time and project information), to invoicing functions that mimic the powerful software. It is important to note that Bill4Time is not totally independent of the software. To fully use all the features, purchase of the software is required. Some functions of the app could still be useful, recording time is not included as one of the free features.

 

Tracking legal hours effectively

 

When tracking legal billing hours, the use of a simple system would be effective

Cleo Time Tracker or PracticePanther’s are extremely user-friendly, designed to simplify user interaction with the app. The efforts have paid off. The app has received rave reviews and high-marks from participants who note the easy-to-understand interface. In addition to being created as user-friendly, the app is also optimized for touch screen devices. One user noted that the ability to switch from matter to matter is easy on Time Tracker. Additional accounting features of this legal billing software include:

 

  • Easy editing of entries
  • Quick correction of errors on entry
  • Visualization and report tools to track time
  • Export data in CSV format
  • Easy to incorporate into traditional billing systems

 

The last app to help track legal billing hours is OfficeTime, it is a humble entrant, also the favorite app used by Florida State University law practice and affiliates. A top law firm billing software app, Office Time contains all the necessary components any efficient practicing attorney would want. The ability to track billable time, plus expenses. This app was reviewed and received high ratings by PCMag.

 

5 Oct

6 Legal Billing Tips for Personal Injury Lawyers

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Are you a Personal Injury Attorney? Six Legal Billing Tips for Your Firm

 

It does not matter whether you own a large personal injury law firm or a small paralegal law firm; when operating your personal injury law firm you may not give accounting the attention it deserves. Keep in mind that staying compliant is important for both the success and survival of your law business. According to the New York City Law Department, most lawyers are often susceptible to compliance issues, especially with legal accounting. This is because:

• Lawyers are not accountants.

• Accountants are not personal injury attorneys, and they cannot understand the different elements associated with legal accounting and their differences with other generic businesses.

Legal accounting is more involved and complex than understanding loans, money in, and money out. For you to operate a successful and compliant law firm you should understand the particulars of escrow accounting, direct and indirect matter costs, trust fund accounting, and three-way reconciliation. Having all this in mind be mindful of these six tips. Failing to be mindful of them can seal the fate of your firm. In most cases, instead of cancellation the penalty is usually disbarment.

Maintain only audit ready trust accounts

Law firms often use retainers to secure payment from clients. Your personal injury law firm also handles clients’ settlements, and most of the time your firm will have several clients with different trust ledgers. It’s important that such trust funds aren’t used to pay the law firms expenses or commingled with other accounts. Ensure that you reconcile all accounts in a monthly basis. In case of an audit this is the first place an auditor will start.

Avoid double data entry

Most law firms have separate management and business accounting systems. However, the problem is that sometimes data requires being entered in both systems. A problem can easily arise when a firm accepts credit card because the money trail will easily get lost. It means that if you put all your business and management accounting in one system, you will only have to enter data once hence minimizing costly errors and saving time.

Consider the firm’s expenses

When your firm focus on client billing it’s easy to forget your expenses. Some of the expenses include payroll, office lease, the internet, phone, and much more. When you have a good understanding of some of the overhead costs of running your law firm you’ll have more information on how many clients you should bill. You should also be able to differentiate between the direct and indirect costs. Reimbursement for your indirect costs needs different accounting than direct costs.

Allocate revenue receipts in an orderly manner

When some of your invoices aren’t paid in full ensure that your law firm allocates the revenue receipts correctly. Before your firm applies these funds to income, ensure you first pay for costs and liabilities. This can be easy if you are using legal billing software.

Track income by practice area

Although you specialize in personal injury cases, you may have different practice areas, for instance, truck accident, dog bite, or slip and fall personal injury practice areas. Furthermore, you bill clients differently because each case is unique. When you track income by the type of case or practice, you will be able to determine the practice area that generates more income. This will help maximize profits for your business by being able to make data driven decisions.

Rather than using general purpose accounting software, employ the use of legal billing software

For your law firm to remain compliant, you have to stop using general purpose law firm billing software. To become successful while using this software, you will require a high level of customization which can cost you both money and time. The complete law firm billing software would be easier to use compared to using spreadsheets, word processors, or manual checkbooks.

Lawyers have varying needs that have to be met for them to meet their ethical and professional responsibilities to clients. Ensure that you consider these needs when selecting your law firm billing software.

4 Oct

Do Your Prices Match Your Legal Hours?

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Will You Always Be Needed?

Sooner or later, it’s imperative to hire legal representation. Whether the case is criminal, malpractice, or personal injury, it will behoove anyone to hire proficient legal representation. With people hiring you, you will always be needed for your professional skills.

Different Fee Arrangements

Fees varies among legal representation. If differs due to the experience level of the lawyer, whether or not the lawyer is specialized in one field or another, and whether or not the attorney is within a rural or small area or in a big city. Also, the fee arrangements for most civil cases could be paid by the hour, through a flat fee, a retainer, a contingency fee, or a combination of any of these arrangements. In rural and small towns, attorneys’ fees could be $100 to $200 per hour for experienced lawyers, and the fees could be $200 to $400 per hour for experienced lawyers in big metropolitan locations. The hourly rate tends to be more for experienced lawyers within a specialty as well.

Details on the Other Fee Arrangements

A flat fee is normally applied to simple cases that are well-defined, such as wills, easy bankruptcy filing, and uncontested divorces. It’s important to find out the details of what the flat fee will and will not cover. A retainer is an advance payment from the client to the attorney for their services. With this payment arrangement, the cost of services are deducted from the retainer fee. The contingency fee is no upfront payment. In this case, the attorney is billing the client a percentage of the money judgement or settlement won in the case. This fee is normally applied for automobile accident lawsuits, medical malpractice claims, other personal injury claims, and debt collection cases.
Pro Bono or Low-cost Legal Representation
Legal fees are really expensive, and many times clients with low income can’t afford them. Because of this, there are attorneys who will provide services for Pro-Bono, aka free, or at a low cost. Very affordable, legal representation can be done with the hiring of a paralegal, for instance. With this, the cost is a lot smaller portion of prices normally associated with other legal representation. At Washburn University, for instance, they have law clerks that will assist clients on their cases as well as represent them in court. They will do all of this for very affordable prices. Also, this college has some school of law online resources to assist clients for self-help legal purposes.
Other Important Things to Note
Many times, lawyers have a law firm billing software. Many of them are great management tools for law offices to manage billing; however, they are subject to error sometimes. Some complaints from law offices concerning the law firm billing software include it not fitting the scope of the law office’s needs, not enough customer support, the legal billing software doesn’t keep up with the lawyer’s fees, the software being too difficult to use, and insufficient training in using the legal billing software. Because of these situations, it’s crucial to keep up with receipts and records of payment. That way, if something comes up, you can show proof that certain amounts are already paid.
Conclusion
It’s always important to know the details of the fees. Get the details of the fine print containing possibly other fees, such as court costs, filing fees, delivery charges, and more. With all of these extras in fine print on top of the issues with law firm billing software, fees can really mount up. However, you will remain in control of your legal fees when staying abreast of all the details.
2 Oct

How to Set a Good Price for Immigration Cases

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Why Hire an Immigration Law Attorney?

Individual’s moving or visiting the US must go through a detailed application process in order to get the permission to work and attain legal resident status or US citizenship. To navigate through these intricacies, most people are forced to seek the services of immigration law attorneys. Besides immigrant visa application, immigration attorney’s can help an immigrant process spouse sponsoring applications, immigration change of status, cancellation of removal and adjustment of status among other forms. To avoid cases of perjury and other forms of falsification, these services are offered in line with the guidelines set by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which is a department of the Homeland Security that deals with immigration issues.

According to Hooyou.com, most applicants filing for various immigration services are concerned about the monetary cost of filing petition, with focus on USCIS Filing fees and immigration attorney fees. The other top concerns include emotional cost and opportunity cost, which infer to the benefits an immigrant expects to gain when it comes to employment outlook and career advancement prospects. When making an application, it is important to recognize that some visas are offered on a quarterly basis. For this reason, it is important to consult an attorney to learn about the visas that fall under this bracket. A typical visa application takes between 4 to 5 months to process, even though an option for 2 week express processing is available at an extra cost.

Immigration Processing Fees

If you are an attorney, the fee you will set for immigration cases and services will greatly depend on factors such as; the going rate, type of service, nature or complexity of the case and USCIS charges. According to an excerpt on Personalfinance.costhelper.com, immigration attorney’s typically charge flat fee or hourly rates for specific services. The charge can range from $100 to $300 an hour, with additional consultation fee. Some attorney’s require applicants to pay a retainer fee up front for their services. With regards to assisting applicants fill basic forms for an ongoing immigration case; the charge can go up to $700 or higher if you include the USCIS charges.

The attorney’s preparation fee for a full visa processing can average anything from $2,000 to $10,000 or more. Immigrants looking for work visas can also hire immigration attorneys and pay a fee of $100 to $300 an hour for the service rendered. When you visit an attorney, you will most likely be given a written schedule of fees, which you must read and understand before appending your signature. Besides the fees, instructions on how to prepare the paperwork and lodge an appeal are also included. However, applicants who are well-versed with the immigration guidelines and rules can opt to navigate the complex system by themselves.

US Immigration Resources

For helpful immigration resources, applicants can visit the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) or USCIS website. The latter offers a brochure with helpful immigration information written in over ten different languages, including English. AILA offers important information, including immigration basics and tips on how to avoid scams. Immigration attorneys can be sought from private law offices and lawyer directories. If you are a student at Florida State University, it is important to know that the Florida State University Law Practice office offers an overview on how to find and evaluate immigration attorneys. The American Bar Association (ABA) also offers helpful legal resources and information on how immigrants can find free or low cost legal assistance and licensed lawyers working at the state level. Immigrants can also apply for loans from various funding sources to support their cases.

LAW FIRM BILLING SOFTWARE

Law firms need to operate with high level efficiency in order to match the needs of a modern practice. For instance, eliminating guesswork out of billing preparation and time management can go a long way to enhance the level of professionalism in the service delivery. To get your bills covered, you need to invest in the right legal billing software. In addition to entering time and producing invoices, the law firm billing software features practice management capabilities that integrate other aspects of a law firm practice to ensure accurate and up-to-date billing. When selecting a legal billing software, you must pay attention to the pros and cons of each software in line with your needs. The key features of a law firm billing software include:
• Practice management capabilities
• Expense and time tracking
• Cash flow management
• Budgeting feature
• Cost of acquiring the software
• Accounting software compatibility
• Type of hosting
27 Sep

How Legal Billing Softwares Can Sort and Analyze Billing Data

How Legal Billing Softwares Can Help With Your Billing Data

Legal billing software is a set of codes, or instructions, all neatly compiled in a software product offering. This software has been developed with the explicit purpose of assisting various process associated with running a law firm. The software tracks client payments and allows for simplified billing processes. Tracking time and expenses are also streamlined, there is no longer a need to ever miss a billable hour! Attorney Humor.

What legal software has to offer your legal practice

Law firm billing software is actually a total solution to running your legal practice. Why is legal billing software a total solution? Because of the software’s ability to sort and analyze billing data. Certain programs can offer features such as time tracking, document management trust and IOLT accounting, online invoicing.

What are my law firm billing software product offerings?

A host of law firm billing products are available to consumers, whether running a small practice or a firm solo. The first example of legal billing software:

The first of the examples of software that has sorting and analyzing abilities is Bill4Time. Founded in 2006, a free trial of this product is available. Payment processing is provided by a variety of payment solutions providers (LawPay, Stripe and PayPal). One user described the pros of the program commenting it was “easy to fill out for billing.” Another reviewer noted the convenient chart feature “the charts it generates are useful to see how much you’ve billed on a weekly basis.

The millennial version of legal software

A slightly younger company (founded in 2015)and created especially for a certain type of lawyer, offering supreme solutions for litigators. CaseFleet stands out from the other cloud-based solutions. With a legal billing and invoicing display that is easy for users to understand and operate, CaseFleet has amassed a crowd following of loyal software fans. A reviewer stood out from the crowd and complained that maybe CaseFleet is not worth the money, “I can’t get this software to show my dates.”

Powering the entire office

Up next is ProTempus, simply known as Law Office Software. Featuring services tailored towards a solo and small law firm setup, this is a secure management software solution. And cloudless. That stands out from many of the other cloud-based programs populating the law software space. The ability to retain data on a private network is offered, away from the cloud. The ability to authorize personnel access to data is a user perk. ProTempus proudly offers assistance with:
• Billing/invoicing
• Case Management
• Calender/Time Keeping
• Trust Accounting
• Accounts Receivables
• Contact and Task Management
• With an emphasis on financial gains

With an emphasis on financial gains

Next is a software that describes its purpose as enabling enhanced client service to legal professionals of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Rocket Matter is an eCommerce revenue machine, the product comes with a bold promise, your bottom line will increase 20%. Okay, maybe not your bottom line, however, revenue will see a 20% spike increased, specifically due to the use of Rocket Matter. This is a company that has been around for awhile, founded in 2008, Rocket Matter holds pioneering status as one of the first cloud-based products available. This is self-described as an all-in-one management platform, empowering users with “the most powerful time and billing software in the industry.” Currency generation is important, so is going paperless, Rocket Matter proudly helps users achieve both. One user who had been actively using for more than two years commented on the overall performance noting it is “an excellent cloud-based comprehensive system for small firm solo lawyers.

A reasonable and affordable price point

Straight up defined as billing software for lawyers comes Time59. This is time and billing software for lawyers. One satisfied customer noted the affordable price point making Time59 a popular option and highly reviewed “a phenomenal piece of software at an incredible price.” An aspiring paralegal in the process of obtaining her Legal Assistant Certificate also commented on the performance of the legal software, “my experience – Time59 has it all for the best price.”

25 Sep

4 Steps to Make Time-Billing a Habit

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4 Steps to Make Time-Billing a Habit

 

No lawyer needs a degree in Accounting Law to understand the importance of being paid on time. A law office is a business, and should be run with business-like precision or all the clients in the world will not make ends meet. Modern technology like apps and older programs like legal billing software can be a good solution for a law firm looking to update its accounting books into the 21st century, but there are additional habits one can develop around time-billing to make the entire process go seamlessly from start to finish.

The Top Four Steps to Make Time-Billing a Habit

  1. Keep On Top of the Clock All Day Long
  2. Be Specific and Descriptive in Your Entries
  3. Be Familiar with Client Guidelines
  4. Choose the Right Law Firm Billing Software for your Company

1. Be Punctual About Punctuality

If you fill out your timesheet at the end of the day, chances are you would have already forgotten times or steps from the morning. One of the most important time-billing habits any lawyer can get into is to enter the times into the legal billing software as soon as the activity is done – not when the day is done. It only takes an extra minute or two at most when done punctually, versus being a long, time-consuming task at the end of the day.

2. Be Specific and Descriptive in Your Entries

 

Your legal billing software should have spaces for entering what you did and a brief description of the task. The more specific the entries, the easier it will be to document the what, where, when and why if there are any questions regarding the time usage later. (See #3). Some lawyers and clients perceive the billable hour as an excuse for not being productive with time, so this is the time and space to prove how effective one can be in each segment of time. The best descriptors will explain what you were doing during that span of time, and why you were doing it. If doing research on a statute of limitations, mention the statute and how it relates to the case in the fewest words that still convey the importance of the activity. Anything too short or too long can cause confusion over what was actually happening during the time-billing session.

3. Be Familiar with Client Guidelines

The law firm billing software does not just exist to get a law firm paid. It also gives every lawyer in the firm the chance to show how much they care about the client’s goals, rules, and requirements by entering information correctly and being specific about how their client “spent” their money. When a law firm demonstrates consistently that they understand and can adhere to time-billing guidelines, then they have the chance to build a long-term, loyal base of clients who will generate additional revenue in future both through personal engagement and referrals. Not only will inaccurate entries or those which go against the billing guideline codes cause dissatisfaction, even if the client remains with the firm all future time-billing submissions are likely to receive tighter scrutiny and less wiggle room.

4. Choose the Right Billing Software for Your Law Firm

 

Any habit is more easily formed when it does not take too much time or effort to get into. There are a range of options when picking out legal billing software, many of which offer an integrated program where time can be entered, sent to accounting, and reviewed by clients all in a smooth, step-by-step performance that cuts down on errors and speeds up the time-billing process. Some subscription-based services will offer monthly plans that are affordable for smaller law firms, and discounts for larger firms with deeper up-front pockets who can pay for several months in advance. When the program is easy to understand and works with the firm, instead of being an irritant during a busy day, it is more likely to be used and accepted by everyone. That is why good time-billing habits are often helped by the right software to back it up.

The LII

The Legal Information Institute is a non-profit group that believes in making the law understandable and accessible to everyone. They use technology and the internet to make it so you do not need a fancy law degree or an advanced diploma in legal project management to understand what the law is and how it may apply to projects, businesses, and life.

24 Sep

How To Market Your Legal Billing Time

 LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-21.jpg

Strategies to Market your Law Practice

 

Due to the nature of their work, lawyers and law firms must do a lot earn a good reputation. The legal representation offers numerous opportunities for law firms to get repeat business and build long term relationships. A practice that mostly target business clients can enhance its marketing strategies by considering strategic advertising and making its presence known online. Since the law practice is motivated by compliance and due diligence, it is critical to inform clients on everything they need to know. Strategic marketing strategies can be executed using:

  • Direct mail – to generate a high level of response, lawyers can send reports and informational products such as reports through direct mail.
  • Case studies and testimonials – when it comes to case studies and testimonials, law firms can enhance their reputation by borrowing from case studies and testimonials of successful corporations. This strategy can help the firm reach out to both current and potential clients.
  • Email – email is a powerful tool for generating leads; however, you need to pay close attention to the content and context along with your targeted audience.
  • Print advertising – when deploying print advertising strategy in your campaign, you need create clever benefit oriented headlines with concise explanations. Your advertising campaign can also stand out if it is seen to be visually distinct.
  • PR networking – lawyers are highly educated persons who respect the views and assessment of other experts. For this reason, PR and networking is crucial in running a successful and reputable law practice. Lawyers can build their reputation by attending Bar Association meetings and sitting on various industry panels. Similarly, lawyers can write articles for various trade journals and post on law blogs to enhance their reputation and market their services.

 

Importance of Technology in the Law Offices

 

 

Technology has permeated all facets of the law practice since it promises high level efficiency and cost savings. Every growing and successful law practice understands the benefits of investing in an efficient accounting, time and billing system. This type of application can make a huge difference when it comes to getting the bills out, accumulating unpaid receivables and getting paid on time. Before making the investment, law firms need to first identify systems that will meet their requirements. The most popular billing and time management software applications are customized to adhere to unique reporting, accounting and billing and practice management needs of both small and large law firms. The software should also seamless integrate with Office, application management applications and accounting applications such as QuickBooks.

 

Legal Billing Software

 

 

The time and billing management is crucial in executing various tasks at the attorney’s office. The law firm billing software is designed to organize budgeting, client billing and time management aspects of business. The software also makes it easy for attorneys to multitask; for instance, bill clients at different rates based on the issues. The other key features of law firm billing software include; accounts payable, time tracking and bill preparation. Billable time can be tracked on different levels i.e. user defined or hourly basis. System administrators can also manage trust accounts and receive payments. When choosing law firm billing software, you will most likely make a choice between server and cloud based billing software. The other choice is between time keeping/billing software and practice management software.

 

The legal billing software with Differentiated Case Tracking Program makes it easy for attorneys and judges to schedule cases, according to parameters such as the nature of the claim, requested relief and number of parties involved in the dispute. Case scheduled in this manner can be tracked as either expedite, Standard Short, Standard Medium and as Custom Trial or other stipulated timelines. Growing number of attorneys are also investing in odyssey case management systems that allow users to migrate several, non-integrated legacy applications covering civil, criminal, supervision and financial case data with electronic document management, online payments and e-filing capabilities. The South Dakota Odyssey Case Management for instance, features a notification system, courtroom calendar and timeline conversion.

 

Learning about Law Office Software

The University of Georgia Center of Continuing Education and Hotel offers a legal course designed to help students learn and appreciate law office software’s. For example, the course of Software Essentials for the Law Office, is designed to assist professionals in the legal practice improves their computing skills and understand law office software’s. The key topics covered in the 42 hour course include time tracking and billing software, computer operating systems and case management.

 

24 Sep

How To Market Your Legal Billing Time

 LAW-FIRM-BILLING-SOFTWARE-21.jpg

Strategies to Market your Law Practice

 

Due to the nature of their work, lawyers and law firms must do a lot earn a good reputation. The legal representation offers numerous opportunities for law firms to get repeat business and build long term relationships. A practice that mostly target business clients can enhance its marketing strategies by considering strategic advertising and making its presence known online. Since the law practice is motivated by compliance and due diligence, it is critical to inform clients on everything they need to know. Strategic marketing strategies can be executed using:

  • Direct mail – to generate a high level of response, lawyers can send reports and informational products such as reports through direct mail.
  • Case studies and testimonials – when it comes to case studies and testimonials, law firms can enhance their reputation by borrowing from case studies and testimonials of successful corporations. This strategy can help the firm reach out to both current and potential clients.
  • Email – email is a powerful tool for generating leads; however, you need to pay close attention to the content and context along with your targeted audience.
  • Print advertising – when deploying print advertising strategy in your campaign, you need create clever benefit oriented headlines with concise explanations. Your advertising campaign can also stand out if it is seen to be visually distinct.
  • PR networking – lawyers are highly educated persons who respect the views and assessment of other experts. For this reason, PR and networking is crucial in running a successful and reputable law practice. Lawyers can build their reputation by attending Bar Association meetings and sitting on various industry panels. Similarly, lawyers can write articles for various trade journals and post on law blogs to enhance their reputation and market their services.

 

Importance of Technology in the Law Offices

 

 

Technology has permeated all facets of the law practice since it promises high level efficiency and cost savings. Every growing and successful law practice understands the benefits of investing in an efficient accounting, time and billing system. This type of application can make a huge difference when it comes to getting the bills out, accumulating unpaid receivables and getting paid on time. Before making the investment, law firms need to first identify systems that will meet their requirements. The most popular billing and time management software applications are customized to adhere to unique reporting, accounting and billing and practice management needs of both small and large law firms. The software should also seamless integrate with Office, application management applications and accounting applications such as QuickBooks.

 

Legal Billing Software

 

 

The time and billing management is crucial in executing various tasks at the attorney’s office. The law firm billing software is designed to organize budgeting, client billing and time management aspects of business. The software also makes it easy for attorneys to multitask; for instance, bill clients at different rates based on the issues. The other key features of law firm billing software include; accounts payable, time tracking and bill preparation. Billable time can be tracked on different levels i.e. user defined or hourly basis. System administrators can also manage trust accounts and receive payments. When choosing law firm billing software, you will most likely make a choice between server and cloud based billing software. The other choice is between time keeping/billing software and practice management software.

 

The legal billing software with Differentiated Case Tracking Program makes it easy for attorneys and judges to schedule cases, according to parameters such as the nature of the claim, requested relief and number of parties involved in the dispute. Case scheduled in this manner can be tracked as either expedite, Standard Short, Standard Medium and as Custom Trial or other stipulated timelines. Growing number of attorneys are also investing in odyssey case management systems that allow users to migrate several, non-integrated legacy applications covering civil, criminal, supervision and financial case data with electronic document management, online payments and e-filing capabilities. The South Dakota Odyssey Case Management for instance, features a notification system, courtroom calendar and timeline conversion.

 

Learning about Law Office Software

The University of Georgia Center of Continuing Education and Hotel offers a legal course designed to help students learn and appreciate law office software’s. For example, the course of Software Essentials for the Law Office, is designed to assist professionals in the legal practice improves their computing skills and understand law office software’s. The key topics covered in the 42 hour course include time tracking and billing software, computer operating systems and case management.